As for the test drive, a couple of things.
I only had the car for maybe 20 minutes. It was late on a Friday, rush hour, and they were closing soon--didn't have a ton of time to mess around with the car on the road. Since I'd done so much extensive research on the car for months, I already knew the ins and outs of the car.
The downside is that the Limited, their only one, was the showroom car and I had to resort to driving one of their other Cadenzas off the lot. It was a Premium with Luxury Plus package:
Still handsome looking but nowhere near as attractive as the Limited.
-I really love the dimensions of the car. It's a full size car, but on the smaller end, which makes it look more like a big midsize that actually drives like a big midsize. This translates into the interior as well. I don't want a ginormous car, but I definitely want something bigger than I already have.
-The power surprised me a bit. Now, it doesn't touch my Q50 for raw power, but I really love how the transmission is sorted between 1st and 3rd; the linear build of the power, especially at lower speeds around parking lots and around town is very good. It doesn't jerk out between 2nd and 3rd like my Q50 tends to do.
-Very composed. I was so shocked at how smooth, quiet, and compliant the car is. Way more smoother and comfortable than my Q50 by a substantial margin. While, I expect the Limited model with the larger wheels will sacrifice this a little, I really liked the ride and the quietness.
-Handling was surprising good. The car has very decent body control and grip when cornering. You couldn't find vehicles 10 years ago in this segment at this price that could handle themselves as good as this.
-The seats were SUPER comfortable. Again, coming from a Q50 with highly bolstered and slightly smaller seats, the Cadenza's seats seem much more conducive for long trips. Right away I knew that this was a car that was going to be super easy to live with, whether in the city or out in the country.
-The steering is going to take a while for me to get used to. As with most mainstream vehicle segments with electronic steering, the steering was a little on the lighter side, which, I know Kia has been criticized for in the past. As I said, I didn't get as much time with the car to get used to all of its behaviors, but the steering ratio isn't quite what I'm used to.
-The manual shifting--I like using manual mode from time to time and I actually use my paddle shifters in certain cases. This is something that I wasn't 100% sure how they were programmed in the Cadenza but they felt different than what I was used to. For example, if I was in 5th, and I downshifted to 4th, it wouldn't let me upshift back to 5th again, only down to 3rd or even down to 2nd. I think it's just something I'll have to figure out over time.
So, while I liked the Premium model, I'm still hoping for the Limited. The trim and level of detail is way more attractive to me. The test drive definitely was more positive than negative. I asked them to run some numbers for me overnight with $500 down at 36 mos. We'll see what they come back with.